Walmart: From Minimum Wage to $175,000 Per Year

Walmart is often a punching bag for the social responsibility crowd, but the company’s latest annual report includes an Environmental, Social & Governance Report. That report takes an interesting turn as it highlights a company that deserves attention for its focus on the advancement of its employees. Just a quick glance at the data page provides some insights into a pathway for other companies on how to build a workforce that stays (sustainable, if you wish to use the popular term):

The average wage of Walmart full-time hourly employees is $14.26 (not the $7.95 per hour that the media tout). The average wage of Walmart full-time employees with compensation and benefits added in is $19.31.
More than 75% of Walmart store operation management teams started as hourly employees. The average earnings for a Walmart store manager? $175,000. From minimum wage to six figures, and all within the same company.

Walmart hires hourly and successfully grows those employees into managers. Walmart’s workforce is 44% minority and 55% female. While others have been busy mocking Walmart, it has been growing leaders, retaining employees, and incentivizing the kinds of behaviors most companies have yet to address. Employees with 100% attendance in any quarter get an extra 25% tacked onto their quarterly bonuses. The company has PTO for employees who are ill (hourly and waged). Walmart Academy provides educational, leadership, and training opportunities for 450,000 Walmart employees per year.

The quiet giant, abused for so long, deserves some credit for providing decent compensation, opportunities (educational and otherwise), and compassion for what is the largest workforce. Walmart’s CEO calls it investing in their associates. And he has put the money necessary to its programs to be sure that the next generation carries forward.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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